[llvm-dev] Resuming the discussion of establishing an LLVM code of conduct

Joachim Durchholz via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu May 5 16:44:17 PDT 2016

Am 05.05.2016 um 23:19 schrieb Tanya Lattner:
> Having a code of conduct like this is just as bad as having no code
> of conduct at all. It trivializes the importance of a code of conduct
> and its pretty much impossible to enforce.

Regardless of what kind CoC you have: if it comes to having to enforce 
it, the community has stopped being open and welcoming.

So I think this approach is attacking the problem that you have after 
you already lost.

> After observing what is happening in many other communities in
> regards to women in technology, I would be much more likely to
> participate in a community that actually has a well thought out and
> meaningful code of conduct.

First, let me state that I'm fully aware that women are subject to 
harrassment. It's one of those sad facts in life.

Still, I don't see how one can write a CoC that does not single out a 
group. Prohibit harrassment against women, and you single out non-women 
as potential offenders. The same goes for any other rule.
Worse: if you forbid something, people will start getting creative about 
how to abuse it. There are some genius trolls out there that will stay 
just below the threshold of actual harrassment (enforceable rules need 
to be spelt out clearly, which means that these trolls will stay below 
that threshold by a hair's breadth). There are people with weak 
arguments who will abuse anti-harrassment rules to fling accusations; 
they never get credibility, but they successfully sidetracked a 
technical discussion into a behavioural one.

Don't forbid things. That's just going to give people ideas.
Instead, encourage things.
And give those who feel harrassed or threatened a mail address to turn 
to. Don't say anything that even vaguely hints that an offender is going 
to get punished; instead, say that the address is for advice and help.
Word it constructively, not restrictively.
It's called framing, and it is an enormously powerful social tool.

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